OMG! There’s a Tpyo!

It’s every marketer’s worst nightmare. The design is perfect, the copy sublime. The campaign has launched, and you’re confident it will be one of the best ever.

Then you spot it. Or worse yet, someone else does. A typo. A glaring, obvious typo. Even after everyone on your team has looked at the copy and read every word a thousand times or more. It’s like a knife to the heart, but it happens to all of us.

Years ago, when CD’s were a common way to distribute digital content, the company I worked for prepared a beautifully produced boxed set of sales tools for our partner sales teams. The day before the launch event, as we were practicing how we would reveal the collection, we discovered that the company name on the desktop icon was ‘Spalsh’, not Splash. We trashed all 5,000 copies – and then we cried. A lot.

In today’s world, this sad story would have a happier ending. The digital assets would all be posted on the web for download and any errors could easily be fixed with a few keystrokes and mouse clicks.

With current technology, recovery is possible.  Depending on your campaign medium, recovery ranges from ‘move on and forget it’ (printed materials or sent emails) to ‘fix it and republish’ (pretty much anything posted on your own website or shared publishing platforms).

Of course, the best scenario is avoidance. Here are a few tips to help you avoid the heartbreak:

  • Look at all the angles: Copy appears everywhere – even in the graphical components of your campaign such as image captions and chart labels. And don’t forget the metadata – Google hates typos too!
  • Read between the lines: There’s more to error checking than just spelling – like putting the correctly spelled, but wrong, company name next to a speaker head shot on an event program (another sad but true personal experience).
  • Trust but verify: Don’t rely solely on the spell check and grammar tools on your computer – a lot of typographical and grammatical errors will slip by.
  • Get professional help: It’s best to have someone from outside your team, ideally a professional proof reader, look things over before you go to production – especially for those times where you can’t just republish a new electronic version.

I’ve learned that you can never be too careful; my inner perfectionist can’t stand the stress. You need to use every method available to avoid the heartbreak of errors – and we should all thank our lucky stars that technology now provides at least some hope for recovery.

Posted by Linda Jackson    |    May 18, 2017